Coming out of a tough financial year, criminals are now taking advantage of unsuspecting people in new and creative ways. This follows the Newcastle SAPS issuing a stern warning to community members regarding scams targeting job seekers and students.
SAPS Corporate Communications and Liaison Officer, Lizzy Arumugam states, “Criminals are aiming at using all the tricks to get cash from vulnerable people. These kinds of scams are malicious in nature and are usually intended to extort money from victims.”
Elaborating on the matter, Arumugam explains that parents try to do whatever they can to ensure their children are registered at higher learning institutions during this time of the year. “However, this is also a period where criminals use such an opportunity to lure their victims to get cash from them,” she says.
Currently, people are posing as representatives from tertiary institutions.
These individuals lure in their victims with various promises, convincing parents to secure their child’s placement by depositing cash into their account. Once the payment is received, the fiend then disappears with the money. Arumugam points out that the offenders are individuals taking advantage of desperate people, who lack the knowledge of registering their child into a tertiary institute.
Arumugam highlights that the police would also like to warn community members to desist from paying money to individuals who promise them employment. No business will request people to make a payment in order to secure employment. She stresses, “Legitimate vacant posts are advertised through the media (print and electronic) as well as on the relevant websites.”
According to Arumugam, “The police, therefore, caution the public about these trends and advise people to enquire thoroughly about schools and employment.” With con artists taking advantage of people, the public is urged to be vigilant and seek clarity from the said tertiary institutions and/or companies to confirm the legitimacy of any offers posted.
Moreover, Arumugam emphasises, “The police categorically condemn the tendencies of these criminals as it is evil and at times, it takes the last bit of money a particular family had, intending to gain employment or access to the intended higher learning institution. We also sensitise students who will be registering for the first time at institutions of higher learning to be wary of bogus schools.”
As the scam artists target people looking at bettering their lives, what are your thoughts?
Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
Authors: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer Edited: Calvin Swemmer